Minecraft took people by surprise. It opened up a world of creativity as pretty much everything was possible in the game. Build houses, castles and even roller-coasters all fully realised in 3D. It had blocky retro graphics but was 60FPS all the way and the possibility of playing online and also locally meant that players could join up to create mesmerising masterpieces. Terraria, developed and published by Re-Logic, is the same kind of thing, in fact one would be forgiven to call this a Minecraft clone as it shares a lot of similarities with it. Basically stick a huge knife through a Minecraft world, turn it on its side and you have Terraria.
Story? You don’t need a story, you first design a 2d 8bit style avatar out of a wide range of hair styles, clothing and skin tones after which you’re dumped in a randomly generated world that is seemingly endless which acts as a canvas for your creativity. Sound familiar? There is a tutorial which shows you the ropes explaining how to mine and gather materials, craft things, dig, fight and wipe your rear end. Maybe not but it might as well. As you walk left and right, jumping and hopping, you have the good old action button which corresponds with whatever you have in your hands. If you have an axe, you can chop trees for wood or attack the randomly generated enemies which you will find wandering around, if you have a pickaxe, you can hack away at pretty much any solid material to make resources to help you create and build stuff. The crafting window allows you to craft furniture if you have the correct materials or you can kit out your avatar with clothing or armour to use along your journey.
Terraria looks like a long lost Super Nintendo game as the 16bit graphics bring about instant cases of nostalgia. It’s more attractive than the blocky Minecraft but still lacks animation. Swiping your sword or pickaxe sees it mysteriously swish in front of your character in a swiping motion while your guy stands motionless. It’s like he’s using the force. I looked everywhere for Yoda with no luck. It’s ugly to see and ruins a little bit of the visual flare of which doesn’t look any sharper on the Xbox One than it does on older consoles.
Pros • Nostalgia everywhere! • Build to your hearts content. • Endless worlds with plenty to find • Simple interface and crafting
Cons • Lack of animation ruins the aesthetic a little • The 2 dimensional plane limits extensive building opportunities like those found in…say….MINECRAFT!
Terraria is a 2D edition of Minecraft although the unique 2d 16bit graphics do look more attractive than Minecraft’s blockier variety. There’s a plethora of creative opportunities on offer here and the creative ones among you will be hooked although for most modern style gamers, you won’t like the retro style and lack of animation or any kind of fast paced action because there isn’t any. Terraria is without doubt one for the builders.